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Bill to Make Nonprofit Security Grant Program Permanent Clears Committee

To permanently establish the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano was recently approved by an Assembly panel.

The legislation which created the pilot grant program was signed into law last January. The grant helps nonprofits protect themselves against terror threats and attacks

Quijano introduced the original measure as a result of her concern for Jewish and Muslim groups in her district after the mosque attack in New York. The tragic shooting at a synagogue and Jewish community center occurred in Pittsburgh last year also underscored the need for a state grant program that helps worship centers to take important security measures to protect their organizations.

“We continue to see escalated threats for many Islamic and Jewish worship and community meeting places here in New Jersey, across the country and the world,” said Quijano (D-Union), who is chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. “The New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program has become a critical component to organizations that support residents within our communities at risk of becoming targets of hate and discrimination.”

The New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program (NJ NSGPP), under the office of Homeland Security, provides funding to eligible nonprofit organizations across New Jersey, as described under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, at the greatest risk of terrorist attacks.

 “By making the grant program permanent, we can continue to meet the needs of our communities whose worship centers would benefit from additional funding to improve security measures. Their staff, and the people they serve deserve to be safe,” added Quijano.

The bill (A-5342) would provide that the security grant program is directed to provide grants out of any annually appropriated funds to eligible nonprofit organizations (1) to hire certain permanent or temporary security and (2) for acquisition of certain target hardening equipment.

NJ NSGPP awards grants of up to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations to hire permanent or temporary security personnel for the purpose of preparing against threats, attacks or other violent acts.  Security personnel under the bill includes federal, State, county, and municipal law enforcement officers, special law enforcement officers, and licensed security officers.

In addition, program also awards grants of up to $50,000 for nonprofit organizations to acquire target hardening equipment. “Eligible nonprofit organization” is a nonprofit organization located in this State which is exempt from federal taxation pursuant to federal law.

The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

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